Francis Ngannou: Stipe Miocic “has been holding the heavyweight division up for a long time”


Top UFC heavyweight contender Francis Ngannou is getting frustrated with the inactivity of the division’s reigning champion Stipe Miocic.

After rattling off consecutive knockout victories over Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Ngannou has irrefutably earned a second crack at Miocic, who he lost a decision to in 2018.

Unfortunately for the streaking contender, Miocic has spent the years since their first fight tied up with a three-fight series with the division’s former champion, Daniel Cormier.

While UFC President Dana White recently laid out loose plans to book a rematch between Miocic and Ngannou in March, the latter is getting tired of waiting.

“It’s been a lifetime [since I last fought],” Ngannou told MMA Fighting. “It’s still kind of like frustrating even though I’m trying to take it out of my mind knowing that I can’t do nothing to change it. Even before fighting [Rozenstruik] in May, I’ve been through this same story, this same situation and it got me ready to face it again. I was waiting for Stipe and D.C., who was in August and obviously I was expecting something in December. That’s why after their fight, I just came back from Cameroon expecting maybe sometime in December because it’s four months away, or maybe January at the latest, I might have a fight.

“Obviously, now I don’t know. What I know, they just said March but it’s not official. Who knows. Who knows how that will play out.

“My only thing with that trilogy is that [Stipe] has been holding the heavyweight division up for a long time,” Ngannou continued. “There hasn’t been a title fight in this division for two years except for those between Stipe and D.C. and other than that there hasn’t been a fight with contenders, which is what contenders fight for. To fight for the title but there is no title going on in this division. I don’t how long that is going to last. I’m sure it’s not just me saying that. Other contenders who also feel the same way because if there’s not a title fight, contenders they’re not moving on. They’re just fighting without purpose. Without a real goal.”

While Ngannou is clearly growing frustrated of waiting for Miocic, he seems to take solace in the fact that, at the end, of the day, the UFC will decide when the heavyweight title fight goes down—not the champ.

“At the end of the day, Stipe doesn’t decide much,” Ngannou said. “I think the UFC is in charge of things. That’s why my last fight, we requested that to be an interim [title] fight so we can fight for something and if that would have been for an interim fight, I’m sure I would be fighting by now.

“Obviously, Stipe on his end wants to do things his way, which is what everyone wants to do. But it’s not for him to regulate the situation in the division. It’s not his duty.”

Do you understand the frustrations of Francis Ngannou?

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